STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR BANKOLE ADEOYE, AFRICAN UNION COMMISSIONER FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS, PEACE AND SECURITY TO THE UNSC ON 25 MAY 2023
- Madam President,
- Excellencies Members of Council,
- Mr Secretary General,
On behalf of the Chairperson of the AU Commission, I recognize with deep gratitude, the resourceful leadership of the UN Secretary General in his endeavors in support of Peace and Security in Africa particularly the measures for effective and sustainable financing for AU PSOs.
Today is Africa Day. The 60th anniversary of the founding of our continental body symbolizes the significance and promise of an Africa that is free, united, peaceful and prosperous. Since the 1960s, the OAU and AU have continued to contribute to global peacekeeping peacebuilding and sustainable and inclusive development for shared progress. We join the UN the UN, after 75 years of Peacekeeping to salute our fallen heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifices for peace globally.
However, Parts of Africa remain the hotbed for global insecurity. We cannot continue to use traditional peacekeeping methods in the face of the complex nature of conflicts that involve terrorism and violent extremism. Hence, the need for a paradigm shift in concept of operations from Peacekeeping to Peace Enforcement.
On this auspicious day of marking Africa Day, we appreciate the very constructive and positive thrust of the Secretary General’s Report which highlights the progress made in the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions 2320 (2016) and 2378 (2017), by both the AU and UN since the 2017 Report of the UN Secretary General on available mechanisms to finance and support AU PSOs authorized by the UNSC. Indeed, it is a call to innovative and concrete action on the understanding that with political will and concerted action, agreement can be reached on the detailed modalities to access the much needed UN assessed contributions to better tackle persisting and complex PSOs in Africa.
The current funding of AU-led/authorized PSOs cannot respond to the compelling need for sustainability and effectiveness as well as the compelling need for innovative funding, being the fundamental goal of the AU. As such our value proposition today on Africa Day, is that only UN assessed contribution for AU-led/mandated/authorized PSOs will meet the criteria for predictable, adequate and sustainable financing.
Happily, in response to earlier UNSC directives, the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government in February 2023 adopted a consensus paper on Predictable, Adequate and Sustainable Financing for African Union Peace and Security Activities which proposes three actionable financing models – (i) UN Assessed Contribution for Hybrid Mission; (ii) UN Assessed contribution through the UN Support Office Model; and (iii) UN Assessed contribution in Support for Sub-regional PSOs.
This is indeed the right time, if we are to decisively respond with the appropriate mechanisms and support models to address the critical conflict issues in Africa. The ongoing crises in Somalia, Lake Chad Basin, Sahel, the Great Lakes, and Mozambique, as well as Sudan, provide valuable lessons on the inadequacy of the current international peace and security architecture and support models that are ad hoc in nature and unsustainable.
However, the African Union remains committed to the unwavering display of African Ownership and African Solution to African Problems through burden and responsibility sharing. To this end the AU has resourced its Peace Fund to the tune of over 340million dollars ad still counting. The pilot utilization of the Peace Fund is being worked out for year 2024. It is pertinent to highlight that the AU Assembly has further demonstrated this African ownership by approving the operationalization of the Crisis Reserve Facility (CRF) of the Peace Fund in 2023 from which the AU has supported ATMIS and East African Regional Force in DRC, with 2 million USD respectively. We highly commend AU member states for the demonstration of Pan-Africanism. The international community represented in the UN Security Council should also play its role.
I am also pleased to report that the Commission continues to make significant progress in mainstreaming and implementing International Human Rights Law (IHRL), International Humanitarian Law (IHL), and conduct and discipline standards in the planning, conduct, management, and liquidation of missions.
These efforts are currently facilitated through the AU-EU-UN Tripartite Partnership Project on the AU Compliance Framework established since 1 February 2022. This AUCF Tripartite project has also enabled the Commission to conduct a number of training programmes on the AU Compliance and Accountability Framework Curriculum, including for ATMIS, MNJTF and Somalia National Assembly (SNA) personnel. Similar training programme is planned for SAMIM in June 2023.
The AU is also deploying a number of initiatives to facilitate the operationalization of the African Standby Force including the adoption of an MoU between the AU and the RECS and the Lessons learned Forum in Abuja in November 2022 in Abuja. Clearly, Peacekeeping operations should be overhauled to reflect the exigencies of peace enforcement.
The Chilean Poet, Gabriel Mistral, advised us decades ago that “The Child cannot Wait”. On this special day for the AU, African Women, Children and Youth, mostly victims of conflict can no longer afford to wait any longer indefinitely for the decision of this Council. Our methods must change. Our solidarity must change in intensity and spread.
The compelling twin agendas of AU 2063 and UN 2030, as well as AU flagship project of Silencing the Guns will be better served if the Secretary General’s recommendations are endorsed and concretized into relevant action.
I trust that the elements of both the Consensus Paper on Predictable, Adequate and Sustainable Funding of AU PSOs as well as the Report of the Secretary General tabled for your consideration, will enable this Council to decide on the key issues and modalities to be included in a draft Resolution on AU’s access to UN Assessed Contributions for consideration in September 2023.
It is the conviction of the AU, without any doubt, that support for effective deployment & impactful operations of AU peace operations will serve as a global good towards the preservation of Peace and security.
I thank you.
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